Heljan Class 26 Superdetailing project

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Jonathan Hughes
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Re: Heljan Class 26 Superdetailing project

Postby Jonathan Hughes » Fri Jun 24, 2016 9:20 pm

I’m having difficulty in believing that it’s been so long since I entered an update to this tread, but then again, progress has been stilted a little with trying to work through some of the challenges that it presented, and some of these are still to be fully addressed. But I’ll present a synopsis of where I’ve got to... if nothing else, it’s taken my mind off the referendum result.
One other admission is that whilst I thought I’d been downloading the images off my phone, it appears that I wasn’t as rigorous at this as intended and I’ve had to pull a couple back from facebook to fill-in where I deleted images off the phone to create more storage space whilst I was on holiday. So there’s a lesson learnt! And yes, I’ve paid more attention to making and saving back-ups now.
The majority of my focus has been on the bufferbeams, and making use of etched mini ploughs instead of the provided plastic (and rather clunky) units. Whilst putting these together was quite straightforward, there is little in the way of provision to actually attaching them to the bufferbeam.

The outer pieces are attached to a central plate that is intended to affix to the rear of the plastic bufferbeam for various Bachmann classes (20, 37 and 47) and Hornby 31, but not for the 26. Fortunately the ploughs are fairly standard (although those used on a 33 are smaller), so its just a case of adapting (cutting away bits that are in the way) the best fitting attachment (class 20) to suit the back of the bufferbeam. The outer ploughs were also only attached via a single bent etch frame. This does work, but it’s not overly stable, and I didn’t think it’d stand up to much handling. The real ploughs are attached at two points, so I set about devising a means to represent the inner frames in addition to the outer ones. I abandoned the idea of gluing a plastic piece cut to the right shape; it’d just not be robust enough. So, I resorted to carefully soldering on an angle piece of etch fret (cut to size and shape)... taking care not to melt too much of the originally soldered attachments, and this was then added to with a little detailing to better represent the frames. These were now much stronger and more representative of the real ploughs, so a bit of a win-win, and position-wise they seem fine.
The inner piece of the plough was a bit more of a challenge; the two thin strips supplied for attachment were of little use, so I removed these and after studying several photos, after which I opted to cut two notches in the upper face and strongly solder two pieces of wire behind the face of the plough and angle these to make brackets. The bufferbeam had two holes drilled in its face either side of the coupling hook mount, into which the bent-wire brackets were pushed (and their length trimmed to suit). The result was a fairly strong attachment, which whilst not as finescale as I’d like it, was probably a good compromise between strength and scale given the parts that I had to work with.
LR-IMG_20160324_203026.jpg

LR-IMG_20160324_202722.jpg


I actually constructed these in the reverse order (now that I’ve looked at my photos), and to aid the construction of the extra brackets for the outer ploughs involved making a holder – actually I just cut two single slots in a piece of soft wood to hold the brackets upright.
LR-IMG_20160506_180823-02.jpg


Having removed the provided cosmetic couplings, which I felt were a little weedy, I started to remove other bufferbeam components. The buffer heads were removed and put away (with their springs) and the multiple working jumper cable, which attaches to the body once assembled, was pondered upon as the plastic “loop” would be prone to stress on continued flexing.

I decided to cut the heads off the loop and hollow-out the ends to enable the loop to be fashioned from a length of shirring elastic which would be more pliable.
LR-IMG_20160510_203143-01.jpg

LR-IMG_20160510_205110-01.jpg

The new exactoscale working screwlink couplings were constructed, attempting to follow instructions found elsewhere on this forum and partly from memory. The last time I made one of these, instructions were available (from the website?) but they’re not hosted by C&L so it’s a bit more trial and error... but it did come together. The hook is filed to an oval profile and then I used a piece of bluetack to hold one of the small heads whilst I threaded it on the drawbar, and the whole process is quite fiddly, but worthwhile.
LR-IMG_20160621_205137.jpg

LR-IMG_20160621_211238-1.jpg

LR-IMG_20160623_204823-1.jpg

A couple of final pictures show the completion of the underframe tank mounts and attachments that I covered before, along with the battery box clips that were made using small pieces of etch fret soldered together (that was fiddly) and added to with bits of plastic rod section and evergreen strip. These were attached to the underside of the chassis to sit with the tanks once reattached.
12687908_904564739662846_4124306713629092390_n.jpg

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535150_916289351823718_7868535219503284626_n.jpg


One final point to cover on the body: I fitted the roof fan grill (2-piece extreme etchings parts) and then gave the overall body a coat of Halfords primer, that was carefully rubbed down and discrepancies tidied. I wanted to give the inner section of the radiator housings a coat of blue before attaching the very-fine radiator mesh/grill.
LR-IMG_20160528_201550-01.jpg

This was achieved, but I found that the mesh (once offered up) had suffered a few failures in the mesh. Brian had let me have these as a trial of the first batch, most of which were showing problems in the production and he was hoping to be able to resolve this in the future, so this was a first (pre-production?) batch, and whilst these two had looked reasonable at normal viewing distance, especially under the lights at scaleforum, but later, under a closer scrutiny of the magnifying glass, it was clearer that there were some gaps were noted.... but then again it was also possible to see the fidelity of the superb weave of the etched mesh which really wont show up on the photos... but it’s a work of art. Hopefully, the meshes will attain the usual high quality and we'll be back on track.
LR-IMG_20160612_110522-01.jpg

I need to get some primer on the bufferbeams and then I’ll be able to do some provisional reassembly checks before pressing on with the next stage of assembly and detailing of the bufferbeams.

Thanks for reading and for bearing with me whilst I continue to plod my way through this lengthy project.
Last edited by Jonathan Hughes on Tue Jun 28, 2016 7:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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iak
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Re: Heljan Class 26 Superdetailing project

Postby iak » Sat Jun 25, 2016 9:07 am

Lengthy yes,boring it is not.
Stimulating and enlightening Jonathan, much to digest and cogitate over

:thumb
I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it....

Perfection is impossible.
But I may choose to serve perfection....
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grovenor-2685
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Re: Heljan Class 26 Superdetailing project

Postby grovenor-2685 » Sat Jun 25, 2016 1:03 pm

The new exactoscale working screwlink couplings were constructed, attempting to follow instructions found elsewhere on this forum and partly from memory.

Coupling instructions are available here. http://www.scalefour.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=2734&p=46403&hilit=couplings#p24463
Regards

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Jonathan Hughes
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Re: Heljan Class 26 Superdetailing project

Postby Jonathan Hughes » Sat Jun 25, 2016 1:35 pm

grovenor-2685 wrote:
The new exactoscale working screwlink couplings were constructed, attempting to follow instructions found elsewhere on this forum and partly from memory.

Coupling instructions are available here. http://www.scalefour.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=2734&p=46403&hilit=couplings#p24463
Regards

Thanks Keith. Yes, I searched for and found those, but I recall the ones I used last time included suggestions about using small tray or box lid to work in to prevent part loss... and they were more wordy... really sorry I didnt keep them.
Jon.

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Jonathan Hughes
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Re: Heljan Class 26 Superdetailing project

Postby Jonathan Hughes » Tue Jun 28, 2016 7:22 pm

Straight off the phone, this photo. I tried to capture the fidelity of this fine mesh... phone and magnifying glass together.
IMG_20160628_201604-01.jpeg

Well, I tried, but it still doesn't really show it as well as it will once you see it up close

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Jonathan Hughes
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Re: Heljan Class 26 Superdetailing project

Postby Jonathan Hughes » Fri Aug 24, 2018 5:38 pm

Well, I suppose most posts of this nature begin with the phrase “Rumours of my demise.... etc.” But I suppose that it’s hardly surprising, as it’s coming up on two years and two months since my last post. Work, “life”, some medical matters and various other pursuits have placed various distractions in the way of this project (like being given an Airfix Spitfire to make during a period of medical recovery, and thoroughly enjoying the project (so much so that there’s an Airfix phantom with lots of Eduard bits to do next)) , or my clarity of thought in how to tackle the next challenge, but progress has been kept up...albeit in slow time, and just not very often or very much. However, given the time that has elapsed, enough progress has been made to warrant an update; if nothing else it suggests that “I’m still breathing” and will perhaps highlight some of the engineering challenges overcome and hiccups addressed.
I often find myself wondering how this little detailing project became such an ordeal... but I’m hopefully doing to finish up with a fully sprung P4 super detailed loco that will look as realistic in 4mm scale as some of the offerings we see in 7mm. If in keeping with my similar projects it would be DCC Sound fitted, but those locos hardly ever turn a wheel and retro fitting all of that can come later. Given what I’ve achieved on the underframe, no I’ll not be hollowing out the tanks to fit a speaker... the local strengthening needed to pull the revised frame together has used that space. In addition, in the years that I’ve worked this project, it’s become evident that my eyesight has deteriorated; I look now at some of the details that I fabricated in 2014/15 and find that I can now only focus on them with a magnifying glass. Will this have to be my last 4mm project at this level of detail...? Maybe I’ll buy a big magnifier light and give that a try.
I’m not going to go into too much detail on all steps accomplished, a) because it’ll bore you too much, and b) because I’ve probably forgotten. I’ll add a few notes to accompany the following photos.
Needless to say that I painted the loco in my usual unaccomplished manner with my Iwata revolution ... I can get the white primer of the Halfords grey fine, and the yellow is fine too... as is the roof-panel grey (complete with darker bands for the frames) but I always seem to mess up the larger areas of blue. I use Railmatch enamels – they seem to be more forgiving of my amateur approach. This time, the finish wasn’t up to a standard that I was happy with, but given the areas affected, I decided to give it a go with some fine abrasive papers (1000 and 2000 grade I think) and T-Cut... washed down carefully afterwards, and the result was just about passable. Transfers were finally found through Steve at RailTec... they’re fantastic ! after I’d spent a couple of weeks looking at Fox (that I’ve previously used) modelmaster and Precision etc.... but not finding all that I needed was leaving to disappointment. RailTec... oh yes, I’d forgotten about them... check website – complete loco sets – really!? Wow. Yup. Sorted. Very pleased. A coat of precision gloss varnish gave a smooth base and they look good. A light coat of Railmatch varnish – a mix of matt and satin sealed everything and that’s where it is now, for now.
Details have been being worked on too... bufferbeams detailed, with modified steam heat pipe (cast items from shawplan with pip removed... hole drilled and shirring elastic representing the pipe and the cast end fitting on the end of the elastic. I need to do similar with the multi-working cable but otherwise they were quite standard... fiddled with to get the PHD ploughs to fit.
Brian sorted the radiator grills YAY! and I had a set of these to work with whilst off work earlier this year. There are two standards: a fine (scale) version and a coarser (more robust) version, which I went for. These have been assembled and left in the outer etch frame for now – primed and painted ready for affixing with some Kleer later on to reduce the possibility of my klutsy handling putting a hole in them.
Cabs have been detailed and had a driver fitted at one end... a bit of research was useful but I had my photos from 2014 when Tom Clift was at the Spa Valley railway, which came in useful... and compared with other contemporary shots. Radiator fan has been assembled and currently fitted to a short shaft and plastic plate that will sit across the inside of the roof; radiator face pieces glued in and ready for a little weathering before the grills go on later.
The windscreens are simply Laserglaze – that splendid product we’re all used to using now. BUT, these are designed to fit the loco out of the box, and I’d enlarged the central from cab windows to “the right size”. I therefore made a plasticard template for these, from which I’d cut out some clear plastic sheet to represent the glazing. This seemed to work ok. I’ve a photo of the template, but not the glazing in a trial fit. The glazing looks a little plastic-like once fitted, but a coat of Klear should help.
The headcode discs needed some rework. I’d optimistically already sprayed these etched items overall white whilst still on the fret... to spray yellow to the appropriate surfaces afterwards. Yea, that was a mistake. As soon as I started taking them off the fret to cut the notches to fit in between the clips on the loco, the paint chipped and I realised that gluing the folded ones wouldn’t work. These were cleaned off with a fibre brush and worked a little. The open ones were fine, but needed the notches cutting with a fine file (that was fun) but the folder ones needed work. I lost a couple of half discs to the carpet monster so had insufficient. I decided to fold two complete discs to represent a... folded disc... what else! The others I made from soldering two halves together... making sure one had the light hole in each pair (had to unsolder one set after I picked the wrong ones up – oops) but they’re ok. These re “Halfords primed” at the moment and waiting on a coat of white (in between the folded discs etc) and as a good base for the latter yellow. Windscreen wipers are folded and primed and sprayed black awaiting fitting, underframe tanks painted, chassis painted, bogies and wheels painted and all in all, there’s not much keeping me from putting it all together.
So, here’s a series of photos that hopefully prove that I’ve not been making the above up, and I have actually been doing stuff. Time to get this finished. The post I mean, oh, and the model too... eventually... I promise!

Finally... I apologise for the (poor) quality images, and the fact that they're appearing in the reverse order..... having been a bit lazy as I've progressed, resorting to the phone rather than camera as working on this; I'll provide some better images as I near the end. And still... the images shown the surface finish to be quite rough... rougher than I think it looks on the bench. Some further varnishing will fill further imperfections... and some weathering (to an appropriate level) will help too.
Thanks for taking the time to read this, and I hope it was felt to be worth it.
Thanks
Jonathan
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Philip Hall
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Re: Heljan Class 26 Superdetailing project

Postby Philip Hall » Fri Aug 24, 2018 6:15 pm

Jonathan,

If your close up vision has deteriorated a good optician should be able to sort this out for you. I have a pair of glasses set for a specific distance for use on my workbench, as distinct from reading glasses. Glad to see you are still producing your fine engines!

Philip

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iak
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Re: Heljan Class 26 Superdetailing project

Postby iak » Fri Aug 24, 2018 10:02 pm

That is one tasty 'Scottish Rat'
I can recommend those magnifying headband thingies and a good Daylight bulb, very effective.
I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it....

Perfection is impossible.
But I may choose to serve perfection....
Robert Fripp


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Jonathan Hughes
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Re: Heljan Class 26 Superdetailing project

Postby Jonathan Hughes » Mon Sep 03, 2018 6:50 pm

Philip Hall wrote:Jonathan,

If your close up vision has deteriorated a good optician should be able to sort this out for you. I have a pair of glasses set for a specific distance for use on my workbench, as distinct from reading glasses. Glad to see you are still producing your fine engines!

Philip

Thanks Philip. When I last spoke to my optician/optometrist and I explained the distance I wanted to work at - far closer than for reading, she laughed. I have reading (don't use them) and VDU glasses now for work and at home when on the laptop - much better for screen-distances, but nothing works up close - as close as I need to be to see the 1mm size details to be worked. I'll look at the magnifier lamps; they might be my only hope.
Thanks
J

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Jonathan Hughes
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Re: Heljan Class 26 Superdetailing project

Postby Jonathan Hughes » Mon Sep 03, 2018 6:53 pm

iak wrote:That is one tasty 'Scottish Rat'
I can recommend those magnifying headband thingies and a good Daylight bulb, very effective.

Thanks... and I've looked at the headband thingies, but not convinced they'd work for me (I think I tried one and couldn't get a good angle with it). Yes I have daylight bulbs which help a little...
I think this may be my last super-detailed 4mm project. And that's a nuisance as i have an Airfix Phantom with the Eduard (and others) bits and pieces to build at some point.
J

BrianW
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Re: Heljan Class 26 Superdetailing project

Postby BrianW » Mon Sep 03, 2018 7:08 pm

Jonathan,
The clockmaker on the 'Repair Shop' program (BBC2 6:45pm weekdays) has a second pair of normal sized lenses attached to his glasses. He was finding and reaming out a 0.15mm hole with no problem so they must be pretty good. I did a quick internet search but couldn't find anything. Maybe others will recognise them.
BrianW

garethashenden
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Re: Heljan Class 26 Superdetailing project

Postby garethashenden » Mon Sep 03, 2018 7:32 pm

BrianW wrote:Jonathan,
The clockmaker on the 'Repair Shop' program (BBC2 6:45pm weekdays) has a second pair of normal sized lenses attached to his glasses. He was finding and reaming out a 0.15mm hole with no problem so they must be pretty good. I did a quick internet search but couldn't find anything. Maybe others will recognise them.
BrianW


Here is the section from George Daniels' Watchmaking book. It's an excellent book with lots of useful techniques, although if you're not interested in watches it is a bit pricey.
Image

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Jonathan Hughes
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Re: Heljan Class 26 Superdetailing project

Postby Jonathan Hughes » Mon Sep 03, 2018 7:42 pm

Thanks again - having browsed a few options, I thought I'd give these a try - I'll let you know
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Magnifier-Wall ... work+light

Philip Hall
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Re: Heljan Class 26 Superdetailing project

Postby Philip Hall » Mon Sep 03, 2018 9:52 pm

Jonathan,

I am surprised at the reaction of your optician. At the very least she should be able to explain why this would not be possible for you, maybe you have a particular condition which prevents a close up prescription. I have a special workshop pair of glasses set at the normal distance I need to work at. I measured this at my bench and told the optician who produced glasses to suit. In addition I have a pair of clip on flip down magnifying lenses, but with these I do have to get a bit closer, but that’s the way it works.

Your chosen gadget looks interesting, but beware that the centres of the lenses may not be quite right for you, and could cause eye strain. I got my flip downs checked by my optician who gave me some dimensions to enable me to modify them.

The final possibility is a pair of cheap reading glasses, which are available for a few pounds from many discount stores. I have a pair for occasional use which are +3 diopter, useful for occasional use as they are not ideal for me. I use them when we go on holiday if I have to repair something small. Like screws in spectacles!

Good luck. If you are coming to Scaleforum I would be happy to bring a few of my solutions for you to try. Some I can’t use any more, so you might find they work for you.

Philip

andrewnummelin
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Re: Heljan Class 26 Superdetailing project

Postby andrewnummelin » Tue Sep 04, 2018 7:02 am

The image in Gareth’s post reminded me of when I went to the opticians for a check and discovered that I did not have to explain my needs as he had jeweller and watchmaker clients. The mention of using power tools also meant that safety lenses were prescribed in frames appropriate to what I do.
It can also be interesting to talk to a dentist about what that profession uses as their needs are often similar to ours.
Regards,

Andrew Nummelin

Terry Bendall
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Re: Heljan Class 26 Superdetailing project

Postby Terry Bendall » Tue Sep 04, 2018 7:14 am

andrewnummelin wrote:The mention of using power tools also meant that safety lenses were prescribed in frames appropriate to what I do.


That is an important point. Ordinary spectacles do not have shatter proof lenses and swarf can enter the eyes around the edges of the lenses. Prescription safety spectacles have toughened lenses and side pieces on the arms, It is quite hard to do any modelling if you loose your sight. :( I have always used a head band magnifier and find it works for me.

Terry Bendall

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Jonathan Hughes
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Re: Heljan Class 26 Superdetailing project

Postby Jonathan Hughes » Fri Feb 01, 2019 3:57 pm

It is apparent that I’ve been neglecting my intent to keep this tread up to date, so perhaps it’s time to address that. When I last wrote, I was contemplating various vision enhancing devices and I settled on a relatively inexpensive headband magnifier, which includes a built-in LED to illuminate the work area and a number of magnifying “plastic” inserts covering a range of 1.5x to 3x magnification. For close-up work, it’s been invaluable. I’d not use it on machine tools or consider that it offers any form of eye protection, but it means that I can now continue to see what I’m doing when working anything in-close. Hopefully this will prevent the otherwise inevitable move to 7mm scale… although a slight migration from 1:76.2 to 1:72 will be an interesting interlude with a few Airfix offerings patiently waiting some attention.
When I started with the headband, whilst the 3x magnifier seemed to provide excellent detail vision, I quickly found that it was too much for my eyes to contend with… the 2x set has proven much more useful and comfortable and I tend to not change these now.
IMG_20190131_205331507.jpg

The loco is now, just about finished; or rather I think it can be put to one side until such time as additions such as DCC sound are considered, although much has been modified inside the body/block and underframe that may prevent traditional installations (iPhone 6 speaker perhaps).
This started off as a small project to see what could be done with exposing the radiator grills and a personal experiment to see if my rusty soldering skills would be up to making a Penbits springing kit (simple enough that even I could follow it) and then it was just a case of a few details. Ha!
Ok, so the project was a little more involved that initially thought, but the detail options on the bogies mean that you just have to produce the same degree of detail on the rest of the loco because otherwise it’d look odd; maybe I overdid it a bit, but in taking a lead from what was available on the finer of the 7mm models, I set about reproducing the same level of detail… along with a few corrections such as middle windscreen size and upper marker light/disc position, all of which I’m sure I’ve covered at length in this topic already.
The grills that Brian Hanson produced were, of course, exceptional, and my concerns at the likelihood of mishandling them proved unfounded when they seemed quite resilient to handling once painted and then assembled… final assembly to the painted bodyside achieved using some Kleer that helped secure and seal everything in place.
The loco paintwork was sorted using some fine abrading and tee-cut and cleaning and the gloss varnish allowed the superb transfers to settle nicely, with an over coating of satin/matt varnish to act as a suitable finishing/weathering base.
I found a problem with my old airbrush, in that I wasn’t getting a good flow of mix or air through when applying varnish, so it needed several build-up coats; eventually I found some clogging in the nozzle that was cleaned (dried through lack of use?) and all is well again.
A few trial fits were undertaken to ensure that the body still sat on the block correctly; some pushing-in of the wires at the ends was needed to prevent a foul when the body was lowered into place, and some fettling of the block’s wiring cover to reduce its height; it’s possible that the cabs didn’t sit quite so high as before and there’s little margin for this. Lighting plastic inserts were re-connected and eventually, the cararama light lenses re-inserted into their frames.
Some tidying of the paintwork was undertaken, with a small brush to hide any knocks that had occurred during its reassembly…. and of course, the laserglaze (and home-cut) glazing was fitted using Kleer to seal and coat. Cab windows at the No. 1 end (with driver) were represented in an open position thanks to the provision of the laserglaze items. I left the other cab windows closed having damaged some of the other “open glazing” parts.
I took a few photographs of the reassembled loco just to record for posterity prior to weathering; I didn’t think it looked too bad even in this incomplete state.
IMG_5190.jpg

IMG_5191.jpg

Weathering was undertaken using a mix of airbrush and drybrush and wash of enamels, along with some powders and Tamiya weathering blocks. Working to a mix of photographs of 26046 along with other members of the class to examine where the grime collects.
For the grills, I airbrushed a dirty black mix gently over these, but then, rather than leave them in this condition, I cleaned them gently with a white-spirit soaked cotton bud to lift the “dirt” off the outer face. Clearly some dirt collects in this area as air is drawn in through the side grills and over the radiators before being exhausted through the roof by the fan… but the grills tend to get cleaned, at least along the outer faces, so I tried to replicate this… if only to better blend the grill in to the bodyside, but also to help to see the radiator face; I went so some effort to model these, so it would have been a shame to not see them. The fact that they’re just visible is good enough.
Weathering of the front ends is subtle, with a few runs and some exhaust drift from the cab roof area; the roof itself is sooty, emanating from the engine exhaust, but not too much… I didn’t want a totally sooty roof. Bodysides have a little dragging-down of this dirt, along with some gentle lower edge frame-dirt “brown” dusted to blend it to the chassis weathering which needed to be more track-dirt encrusted and less likely to be regularly cleaned. The patterned mix of media and colours is based on photographs of a selection of 26s including No. 046. It serves to give the worked feel within which everything blends in.
Once this is all finished, I’ll remove the glazing Maskol and pop the wipers on. I know some like to use windscreen weathering masks, but I can’t abide dirty windscreens and I feel sure that the crew would have cleaned the windows from time to time – but leave the rest of the loco as is… at least, it’s what I do with the car at this time of year.
IMG_20190201_131429273.jpg

IMG_20190201_131508025.jpg

IMG_20190201_131610150.jpg

IMG_20190201_131659595.jpg

IMG_20190201_131726164.jpg

Hopefully, this small selection of photos illustrate the current stage – well passed the 80-20 stage… so, very nearly there.
Some of the photos are of reasonable quality... others were snapped with the phone, but serve a purpose; I’ll take some better ones when I reach an end point.

Finally - a pre-weathering image that shows the changes - I think that's all of them.
IMG_5168.jpg


Thanks for taking the time to read this... will be nice to see this finished
Jon.

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Bernie
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Re: Heljan Class 26 Superdetailing project

Postby Bernie » Mon Feb 04, 2019 2:10 pm

A triumph, Jon! Well done. The iphone 6 speaker is a super little fella- chop off the small rectangle and fill the resultant hole, and it'll fit in no problem.


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